President’s Winter Message
It is timely that with the upcoming holidays we give a special thanks to our board members who will be leaving at the end of this year: John Agather, Wade Caldwell, Cynthia Combs, Linda Daniels, Gerry Frost, Ross Garcia, Kathleen Garrison, Vincent Johnson and Robin Teague. Over these past several years, their dedication to the Monte Vista community has been truly felt by all who have worked alongside them. They leave behind a much stronger Association, both financially and in spirit, and for that we are grateful. We have much to look forward to in 2015 and a substantial amount of work that continues to been done to protect our historic neighborhood. As we are all part of a cycle of renewal, we would like welcome our new board members for 2015: Paula Bonderant, Summer Bruington, Jessica Erin Elliott, Diana Fuqua, Sandra Grove, Dolly Holmes, Michele Nievaard, David Smith, Dianne Warren, Bill C. White and Rosanne White. They with our remaining board of directors will be lead under the wise leadership of our incoming President, Ernest “Cee” Parker.
As we go to print; that STAR Program is being introduced in Monte Vista in our ongoing effort to stabilize our deteriorating structures. The STAR (Students Together Achieving Revitalization) is a partnership between the Office of Historic Preservation, the UTSA College of Architecture, San Antonio College, the Historic Preservation Association (HPA), and local contractors; Architectural Interiors and Ziga Design Build to provide exterior home repairs and maintenance to homeowners within the historic districts. The STAR Program provides a proactive approach to arresting further deterioration in our San Antonio historic districts. Assistance includes repairs to windows, screens, siding and porches, and exterior painting as well as yard maintenance. Two properties which have been vetted through the Office of Historic Preservation are sponsored by the Monte Vista Historical Association. Additional details of “STAR in Monte Vista” are in this current VistaS newsletter and our website www.montevista-sa.org
This past year we have accomplished quite a number of activities that reflect what the Association is all about.
The Architectural Review Committee continues to hit its mark of serving the community by meeting twice a month. By giving free architectural guidance to homeowners, the committee helps facilitate the applicant’s process with the City of San Antonio Historic Guidelines. It’s a great benefit that is appreciated by all those homeowners who knock on the door of the MVHA office, sign in and discuss their plans with the ARC. We thank all those homeowners who respect the preservation process and help keep Monte Vista an intact historic district.
From historic landscapes to state historic preservation tax credit, the four Preservation Workshops held this past year were met with great interest and enthusiasm from our community. The Association continued funding of its annual Donald E. Everett Scholarship program at UTSA continues to support historic preservation education. The work done on oral history as well as the developing history tours by our Historic Preservation Committee will continue the legacy of Monte Vista. We can’t say enough about the importance of education.
The Association through its Code Compliance Committee continues to work closely with the City of San Antonio’s Office of Historic Preservation and the Development Services Department addressing deteriorating and vacant structures in our community. The Association commitment will eventually turn the tide on this particular problem that has plague our neighborhood for years. We await the Vacant Building Registration Pilot Program Ordinance with great anticipation. Zero tolerance for substandard vacant buildings in our beautiful and historic Monte Vista!
The Association’s Neighborhood Safety and Services Committee members continue to address our traffic and safety issues with the City of San Antonio. It does take time, but we expect some new developments in the upcoming year. To the more mundane but just as important tasks, the Committee was instrumental in opening several alleys in Monte Vista that have been closed for over a year. We’ll continue to follow up and hope to have the remaining alleys open for use by our neighbors.
Our Third Thursdays, Easter Egg Hunt and 4th of July Parade and Picnic will continue next year. It’s an important social element that creates a Monte Vista sense of community. Check out the photos archived on our website www.montevista-sa.org
Speaking of our website…it’s been redesigned! It’s modern, sleek and positions your Monte Vista Historic District as a vibrant and cool neighborhood. The website will continue to be loaded with information that addresses the needs of your historic neighborhood. Since we are part of one larger neighborhood, we have decided to include information of local events of surrounding neighborhoods.
Finally, it was indeed a great pleasure to serve as President of the Monte Vista Historical Association this past year. We accomplished quite a bit this past year. It could have only happened with the help of your membership, the board of directors, and the great volunteers that helped over the past year. Thank You!